In today’s world, appearance can be everything, meaning aesthetic and plastic surgery has never been more popular. Thousands of men and women the world over flock to surgeons and clinics in the hopes of feeling more confident about themselves. Liposuction, the process of removing fat from targeted areas of the body commonly using suction rods, is the most popular surgery after breast augmentation, proving that a gorgeous body matters to most.
But just what does surgery involve? Is it only for obese people? And will you end up scarred? Here are 10 common myths surgeons are often asked, and the facts behind them.
1. It’s a good substitute for diets and the gym
Have you ever heard someone say, ‘Oh if only I could afford lipo, then I wouldn’t have to spend hours working out!’? Sadly, that isn’t the case. Liposuction isn’t a substitute for weight loss. Instead, it sculpts those stubborn fatty areas that won’t budge despite total lifestyle changes.
2. It gets rid of that orange peel effect
Cellulite isn’t affected by liposuction. Although dimpling is caused by fat, the cells are actually sat in the subcutaneous layers under the dermis, and are intertwined in connective tissue, veins and nerves. It’s impossible for surgeons to remove it at this level, but liposuction can reduce the appearance of dimples if your skin has enough elasticity. Sadly, this one’s down to your genes.
3. You’ll end up scarred
You may have a small, puncture-like scar at the incision site. But as surgery goes, this one of the least invasive, especially when compared to abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) and breast augmentation.
4. It’s just about removing fat
Actually, liposuction is known as ‘fat modelling’, not fat removal. A good surgeon won’t just suck out unwanted fat, he will be able to shape and contour your body. And some techniques don’t actually remove fat at all, instead leaving the detached cells to be absorbed naturally. So shape beats shift in this case.
5. It’s just for women
Laura Casewell, editor of The Cosmetic Surgery Guide, says this is a common myth. “In actual fact, liposuction is just as popular for men as it is for women.” Cosmetic surgery for males in the UK grew by 5.6% last year as more men realise the confidence-boosting effects of surgery. The most common areas of fat removal for men are hips, chest, abdomen and flanks.
6. There’s just one surgical technique
New techniques have been developed which minimise the amount of bruising and bleeding post procedure. One of these is known as ‘wet’ liposuction, and involves administering a combination of saline, adrenaline and anaesthetic to the area, which is then sucked out along with the fat. When larger amounts of fluid are used, this is known as ‘tumescent’ liposuction. There are also various forms of lipo that use an energy source to liquefy the fat cells and tighten the skin.
7. You’ll be left with saggy skin
While you won’t be left will rolls of skin like those who lose weight after being morbidly obese, shrinkage is dependent on your skin’s elasticity. “Modern types of liposuction now encourage skin to shrink back and promote the production of collagen,” says Sydney’s Dr Jeremy Hunt. “These techniques don’t just remove fat and cellulite; they also prompt skin to firm up to your muscles, providing a tight, sculpted look.”
8. You’ll lose 22kg or 3 stone in weight after surgery
Waking up three stone lighter is a dream of many. But the object of this surgery isn’t to lose weight. It’s all about contouring the area to give the appearance of a svelte, sleek shape, whether that’s on your thighs, buttocks, arms, neck or stomach.
9. It’s only for obese people.
Actually, overweight people aren’t good candidates for liposuction, as it’s not intended to remove large areas of fat. “When large amounts of fat have been removed in attempt to treat obesity, it has lead to serious complications,” Laura says. “It is not safe to remove large amounts of fat.” If you feel toned and healthy but are struggling to rid yourself of that stubborn area on your hips or arms, it’s probable that no amount of exercise and dieting will remove it.
10. You should choose state-of-the-art technology
Liposuction has come a long way since it hit the medical world almost 100 years ago. (Yes, it’s really that old.) The key thing to remember above all else is that your surgeon is the one doing the work. There’s no point paying for top notch surgery if the person wielding the scalpel isn’t fully trained. Do your research on surgeons, and choose someone with good experience and the right qualifications.
About the author:
This post was written by Matthew H, a London based health writer, specializing in cosmetic surgery.